“The world stepped into when we explore Ben’s work is made up of things, materials,
objects, stuff. Is it a door handle? A leather boot, A bag of materials that looks like
but isn’t quite coal? Does it matter? These are old things. But the sense of the old is
that of time as something pure. Unlike the reworking of the past we find in so much
popular culture, this is a sensuous oldness; we want to touch and explore. We want to
feel the object of time itself. The installation Zeppelin is one example. The title refers
to the object of the zeppelin itself with all its historical associations. But when
engaging the sculpture, we are drawn to its clunky feel, its use of essentially old
materials, bringing us back to that sensuous oldness that is not the past but time.
Another example is Bladderhead, a head cast of a weary, beaten down man; his eyes
shut as if turning away from the sparkling newness of a world that confronts him at
every turn. Perhaps this man is defeated by the glittering objects that surround him;
the weariness he feels because of this. This weary figure pervades Ben’s practice
across media. It feels as if he’s shutting his eyes in the hope that he can retreat into a
world where the old is not the past but the shimmer of time itself. I wonder if this
man is Ben, weary with this world and therefore making another. Or maybe he
represents a part of me that wants to tune out of the present, if only for a moment. But
then a light bulb goes off and I think that Bladderhead is in fact us all, cast in that
cultural constellation Fisher writes about as so obsessed with recycling the past, and
therefore looking to retreat into a world both sensuous and old: the feeling of time
The old and the weary By Dara Waldron
Dara Waldron lectures in Critical and Contextual Studies at Limerick School of Art
and Design. He is the author of Cinema and Evil: Moral Responsibility and the
“Dangerous” Film, and is currently working on his second book for Bloomsbury,
New York. He is the author of the fortnightly column Art Encounters, for
Headstuff.ie, which explores how we respond to the everyday experience of art
Winchester School of Art, England
MA Fine Art Sculpture, Distinction, 1998-1999
University College Cork
BA Archaeology, Single Honors, 1991-1995
Crawford College of Art, Cork
Diploma Fine Art, Distinction, 1983-1987
Dun Laoighaire School of Art, Dublin
Visual Education Certificate, 1982-1983
Lecturer (Fine Art Dept.) Waterford Institute of Technology.
2004 to present.
Sculpture Lecturer 2001 Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI U.S.A.
Chairman of Backwatercourse Artists Group, Wandesford Quay Cork
Cork Artist for National Sculpture Day, 2001
Hosted by Sculptors Society of Ireland
• Creating temporary work with schools in Cork.
Visiting Lecturer, 2001
St Johns Central College, Cork
• Film studies course.
Visiting Lecturer, 2000 and 2002
Crawford College of Art, & Limerick School of Art.
St Johns Central College, Cork
• Art, Craft, Design, and Portfolio preparation course.
Sculptor on the Arts Council Artists in the schools scheme, 1991-1998
• Schools in Cork City and county.
• Experimental Sculpture Workshop, Summer School
Crawford College of Art, Cork
• On sites in Cork and Kerry for Cork City Council and University College Cork.
• 16mm Projectionist and 35mm Assistant Projectionist, 1988-1995
Triskel Art Centre and Cork Opera House.
Visiting artist / lecturer, technician, Michigan State College U.S.A. 2001
Studio residency Triskel Art Centre, Cork. 2000
Residency Vermont Studio Centre, U.S.A. 2000
1999/2000 Residency Roche’s Point Lighthouse, Whitegate, Co Cork.
Cill Rialaigh project, residency Ballinskelligs, Co Kerry.
Print Residency at the Kloster Bentlage Cultural Centre and Museum, as
part of the Munsterland festival part 6 in 2011.
GlogauAir Residency Berlin 2016.
Solo Exhibitions and Events
2017 Rising, Soma Contemporary, Waterford city.
2014 Delights , Backwater Artists group, Cork.
2013 Sin Corner, Christ church Triskel Arts Centre.
2012 'Cyclops' ,Courthouse Gallery Ennistymon , Co Clare.
2011 ‘Pluto’ Stadtmuseum Borken Munster,Germany.
2010 Zeppelin South Tipp Art Centre Clonmel.
2009 ‘submarine’ Galerie R31, Neukolln, Berlin.
2008 ‘Balaclava’ Print exhibition, Limerick printmakers Gallery.
2004 & 2005 Films selected for Supper eight festival Cork.
2004 ‘Frau Von Havel’ Short film selected for Cork film Festival 2004.
2003 Cinema Caradiso Cork Art Trail, Wansford Quay. Film projected inside a Renault 4 van converted into cinema.
2001 ‘Culver’t 16mm film project with Cork Film Centre.
‘Quiet’ Exhibition with Marc Reilly, Paul Kane Gallery, Dublin.
2000 ‘Body’Sirius Art Center, Cobh, Co, Cork as part of Cork Institute of Technology ,Arts Festival.
Asleep Installation project. City Morgue, White Street, Cork.
1998 ‘Moving’. National Sculpture Factory, Cork.
1997 ‘Blimp’. Touring show
Garter Lane Arts Centre, Waterford, and Triskel Art Centre, Cork.
1996 ‘Gob’. Touring show
Linnenhall Arts Centre.Castlebar Co, Mayo, and South Tipperary Arts Centre Clonmel, Co, Cork.
Café Paradiso, Cork.
Siamsa Tire Gallery, Tralee.
1993 Recent Work.
Belltable Art Centre, Limerick.
1992 Recent work.
Aula Max, University College Galway.
1991 Recent Work.
Triskel Art Centre, Cork.
1990 First Solo
Riverun Gallery, Temple bar Dublin.
• Private collections in Ireland, England, and Holland.
• Public collections in University College Cork, University College Dublin, and Regional Technical College, Tralee, Kerry.
• Office of the Mayor of René, France, commemoration of twinning with Cork, 1994.
Crawford Municipal Art Gallery. A.I.B. and B.O.I Dublin. Eily Lily Cork. O.P.W. Dublin.
• The Presidents Office, Phoenix Park, Dublin.
• The Granary Theatre, Cork.
Department of Education Scholarship, Anatoti Scoli Collone Athens, Greece 1988/89 New contemporaries award Triskel Art Centre Cork 1991.
Arts flight 1998.
Arts flight 2000.
Arts flight 2001.
Arts Council bursary 2000.
Arts council materials grant 2001.
Claremorris open Adjudicators prize 2002.
Selected for Peripheral Visions Video Art exhibition for Cork City of Culture 2005.
Culture Ireland Grant 2011.
Catalogues, reviews, & Publications
Sin corner catalogue Essay by Sarah Kelleher 2013.
The Visual Artists News Sheet March – April 2012 Review of Cyclops by M. Cutaya.
Munsterland festival catalogue 2011 for Pluto isbn 978-3-939812- 15-9.
Enclave Review 2011 Excavate Cork public Museum , by Ed Krčma .
Backwater Twenty – 10 A celebration of twenty years of Backwater Artists Group.
Submarine catalogue By Hillary Phyle GalerieR31 Berlin 2009.
Then + Now Evolving Art Practices Lewis Glucksman Gallery U.C.C.
Nuacht U.C.C News Magazine Campus Art (p17), February 2007.
Peripheral Visions’ Cork Film Centre and Cork 2005 Catalogue.
O2 Contemporary Art from Cork .Crawford gallery 2005 Catalogue.
Crossing over Garter lane Arts Centre. Catalogue 2005.
Sculpture at Kells, Kilkenny, Catalogue.
Clo in China, Hangzhou China Catalogue 2005.
EV+A 2001 Catalogue.
Scoip Siamsa Tire Tralee, Catalogue 1996 & 2001.
The Modern Art collection, University College Cork, Compiled by William Gallagher published by The Visual Arts Committee University College Cork, 1998
Gob Touring show Catalogue, Essay by Vera Ryan 1996.
New Contemporaries Catalogue Triskel Arts Centre 1990.
Sade 87 Catalogue Crawford Municipal Gallery, Cork.
Irish Times review, May 1997 Mark Ewart.
The Sunday Times May 1997 Review Medb Ruane.
The Sunday times November 1994 review Emer Mc Namara.
The Irish Times November 1994 review Mark Ewart.
The Irish Times 1994, review Mark Ewart.
Limerick Leader April 1993, Review Samuel Walsh.
The Irish Times July 1992 Review Brian Fallon.
Irish Times August 1991, review Hilary Pyle.